Design Classic – Influential and important design
Mezzadro Stool 1957
- Designer: Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni were not the first twentieth-century designers to consider the tractor seat in relation to sophisticated furniture production: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe used it for the Conchoidal chairs he conceived during the early 1940s. At the same time, Architectural Record published a four-legged garden stool with tractor seat by Design Unit New York in 1949. This stool’s name, Mezzadro, is an Italian term for a tenant farmer, and it paradoxically symbolises the entry of both the tractor seat and the driver into the modern interior. The Mezzadro stool was first shown in Milan at the X Triennale in 1954, with an unpierced moulded seat and an integrated dark metal base; it was revised into its current form when it was included in the Castiglionis’ experimental eclectic interior at the exhibition Colon e Forme nella Casa d’Oggi (Colors and Shapes in the House of Today), held in Como, Italy, in 1957.
The stool comprises a vividly coloured metal seat cantilevered on a durable bent-steel structure with a hardwood crosspiece for stability and fastened together by a large wing nut—an attractive, additive design of four different mechanical pieces that was ultimately built-in 1971.
Hiesinger, K. B., & Marcus, G. H. (1995). Landmarks of twentieth-century design: an illustrated handbook. Abbeville Press.